A text from DH telling me that baby girl fell and cut her lip at daycare today would be sad for most parents I think. For me it was terrifying. How much blood? Did anyone else get hurt? Did they use gloves? Did I put another child at risk? I broke the rules at work and texted DH back - "Did they wear gloves?!" He assured me he was sure they did. At lunch I called him and asked when he picked her up today to be sure he reminded the director of Baby's potential status as Hep C +. Tonight he assured me that the staff used gloves and that no other child was hurt when she fell.
D is Hep C+. Baby Girl was born as a planned c-section and D did not breastfeed all as precautions to limit Baby Girls risk. Her risk is low but it still is a risk.
Ironically Hep C on our form was not checked as something we would consider. What we were told by our pediatrician when we were filling out our check boxes was Hep C has no cure and it leads to a lifetime of sickness. What no one told us when we skipped checking the box that would allow us to be considered for a Hap C+ child is that no child unless they are over 18 months can be tested for Hep C. So that means if Mom was Hep C+ we would not be considered even though . We could have missed our Baby Girl.
Baby Girls match was a little unorthodox since she already was a week old. They wanted a family that could be with her in the hospital as soon as possible. We were told the above information as well as so much more information verbally I dont really know that her Birthmothers Hep C status was much of a factor with the other things she was dealing with.
When we got home from the hospital we had a liver function test completed. This told us that on the day her blood was drawn her liver was functioning normally- it does not however tell us definitively that she is Hep C-. It allowed me to feel more comfortable putting her to breast since I almost constantly had cracked nipples. The way it was presented to me though was that although the test was not conclusive if the test came back negative then she likely was not +.
So now the reality of it is baby girl is almost 13 months old and we have 5 more months to wait. The closer to 18 months we get the harder the wait is. Todays blood loss was her first at daycare but not her first. The first time she cut her finger she was 9 months (It was the day of her 9 month ped's appt). It was a stupid mistake and she grabbed my razor before I realized what happened her finger was making red spots on the bathtub. I think I reacted like any Mom- I treated her cut. Once she was better I started to panic- what had I done!? First off how did I forget to put the razor up but should I have cared for her cut differently. I spoke with the pediatrician about it and he told me I should have worn gloves.
Its not something I think about often but that day was an eye opener. I realized that I may have not told daycare- which interestingly enough daycare told me I didn't have to tell them. I shared with them but asked that they keep it private. They assured me that they used universal precautions and that she was welcome no matter her status. When I considered getting a babysitter other then my aunt I realized in good conscience I couldn't just call up Suzie from down the street who is a sweet high school student to babysit on nights/weekends because I'd then have to share Baby Girls status with Suzie and her mom. I have since found a nice college student who I did share her status; as well as the location of the surgical gloves I now keep in the bathroom closet. In reality the risk of sharing Hep C within a family environment is low as open wound to open wound contact has to occur- blood has to be passes from one person to another.
Despite this low risk we dont know and wont knot for another 5 months. The risk I've read anywhere from .5%-36% though most of the studies I've read have been in the 2-5% range. The fact that her birthmother was HIV- somehow influences her risk to be lower.
The first 8 months were not that bad for me. We had her liver function screened to allow me to breast feed but really that just told us that her liver was functioning on the day of the test and if she had Hep C she did not have an exasperation of the disease at the moment. For the first 8 months it was her and one of us caring for her. We knew her status and unless there was blood we didn't have to worry.
So in July we will find out her status. I assume she is negative while I have to act as if she is positive. No matter her status she is healthy and I love her. The doom and gloom prognosis the pediatrician gave us and thus discouraged us from checking this box I think was over stated. Being Hep C+ does not in and of itself indicate a life time of ill health. There is no cure but there are treatments. Most people with Hep C dont know their status. Hep C is believed to be prevalent in baby boomers, as high as 1 in 33, as there was no way to screen for it until recently so blood transfusions and less stringent policies in heath care settings lead to this population being exposed without realization. The risk for baby boomers seems to be higher then my daughters risk and I treat those in this population daily at work without thought.
Until July I will worry if she hurts herself. I will care for her as any other mother would and wash my hands when I'm done. I will give her hugs and kisses until she is ready to play again which likely will be sooner then I'm ready to put her down. After July I will worry no matter the results. I will still wash my hands when I'm done and give her the same number of hugs and kisses. If there is a #2 Hep C will be checked because although I worry I would worry about her getting hurt no matter her status.